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10 traditional Shanghainese brands [Copy link] 中文

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Someone's started wearing Feiyue sneakers and a Shanghai watch again, but there's much more to the city's retail history. Here are 10 traditional Shanghai brands that should be on your look-for list.

Shanghai traditional brands: Food

1. Li Feng snacks(立丰食品)
Founded in 1938, this food brand was once a popular food department store in the 1980s in Jing’an Temple area, selling all sorts of snacks from biscuits to beef jerky. Nowadays, the department store is gone but the much-loved snack brand remains with outlets around town. Li Feng is best known for its packets of dry beef jerky, duck gizzard and liver, and meat floss sold by the jin (500g). These are super traditional Chinese eats, but give them a try, you might just like them.
Find it: 967 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Maoming Bei Lu 南京西路967号, 近茂名北路
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2. Bright vanilla ice cream (光明牌中冰砖)
Häagen-Dazs or Cold Stone might be your favorite ice cream spot today, but a small brick of vanilla ice cream from Shanghai dairy brand Bright was once all that people wished for in summer. The locals called it "zhong bing zhuan" (middle ice cube). Wrapped in a blue paper box and a sheet of thin wax paper, the treat was first sold in 1950 and is still a mere RMB 2 today. Guess inflation doesn't get to everything. Mix this Bright ice cream with everything from strawberries to Sprite (trust us on this one), it'll taste delicious and take the edge of Shanghai's summer heat.
Find it: Kedi convenient stores (but you might need to search the bottom of its freezer to find one), 890 Weihai Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu 威海路890号,近陕西北路
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3. Chocolate milk mix (梁丰牌 麦乳精)
Coming in a cylinder-shape tin, this chocolate milk mix is called “mai ru jing” or “le kou fu” in Shanghai. It was a luxury for people in the 1970s and 1980s. Most people bought them as gifts for one another, with Liang Feng as one of the most popular brands. It recently came back in fashion after Zhou Libo used his childhood memory of drinking this mix in his stand-up comedy routine. Very few shops carry this product now, but if you are lucky to find one, the best way to have it, according to Zhou Libo, is to eat the powder dry. In addition, Liang Feng also offers another traditional snack, “Mylikes,” small milky puffed balls coated with chocolate coming in a small red bag.
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Shanghai traditional brands: Cosmetics

4. Pehchaolin moisturizer (百雀羚)
Founded in 1931, Pehchaolin was among the first cosmetic brands in China, and some say even Asia. Its all-around moisturizer, coming in a round flat blue can, was the beauty secret of the local beauties during Shanghai's golden years. Not ready to be left in the past though, Pehchaolin has now expanded its product line into herb-based skincare items. Although we like the new products, the company's signature cream still gets our vote with an all-natural recipe and a price that makes even our wallet smile -- RMB 4.5 a tin. Get it in major supermarkets in Shanghai.
Find it: Lotus Supermarket, 1128 Yanggao Nan Lu, near Pujian Lu 杨高南路1128号易初莲花, 近浦建路, +86 21 5873 1228
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5. Bee & Flower shampoo and conditioner (蜂花)
This no-fuss shampoo and conditioner rose to fame in the 1980s, introducing the two-step hair-washing concept to the majority of the Shanghai market. Not stopping at the basic, the original shampoo (in red) and smooth conditioner (in yellow) spawned more than 50 different hair products. Even with a greatly expanded line, Bee & Flower maintains a minimalist bottle design and still costs around RMB 10. The result? The brand is still loved by the city’s younger generation whose mothers used to be the brand’s loyal fans.
Find it: GMS Supermarket, 1988 Huashan Lu, near Guangyuan Lu 华山路1988号吉买 盛,近广元路
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Shanghai traditional brands: Gadgets

6. Seagull camera (海鸥牌相机)
Hard to believe, but in Shanghai there were cameras before Lomo and Polaroid. In the days of food and entertainment shortages, a Seagull camera would make you the coolest kid in town. As the oldest and biggest camera company in Chinese history, Seagull made its name overseas during the 1960s and is slowly returning to the modern Chinese market. Check out local photography markets to dig up some vintage Seagull models as well as its latest technology.
Find it: Xingguang Photography Market, 300 Luban Lu, near Xietu Lu 鲁班路300号星光摄影器材城, 近 斜土路
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Shanghai traditional brands: Daily necessities

7. Forever bike (永久牌自行车)
Just as its name suggests, these bikes last forever. The locals nickname them “lao tanke” (old tank) and it perfectly describes their ability to survive all sorts of weather and road conditions, and even the bike thieves’ tastes. In this city of bicycles, this bike brand used to be the best transportation method for every household. Now, these tough pedals are back to the feet of Shanghai hipsters.
Find it: Forever Bikes, 212 Zhongshan Bei Yi Lu, near Guangzhong Lu and Hongkou Football Stadium 中山北一路212号永久自行车专卖, 近广中路和虹口体育场
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